A move long-since telegraphed has come to fruition according to reports Sunday, as multiple outlets including Yahoo Sports report that former All-Star big man Pau Gasol will join the Spurs on a two-year, $30 million deal with a player option that allows him to hit the market in the even-higher-capped bonanza of 2017.
For the Spurs, this might telegraph the impending retirement of Tim Duncan who is reportedly leaning heavily toward ending his 19-year NBA career. It also is a curious move, in that their big issue in the playoffs was a lack of youth and athleticism, and instead they have added a 35-year-old plodding center who is a defensive liability but can still get mid-range and post-up buckets regularly, and is a quality screener, rebounder, great passer and teammate. There's overall value there but it doesn't necessarily move their needle much.
A Tony Parker-Pau Gasol pick and roll defensive combo is going to have opposing teams licking their chops.
Gasol fits well with the culture, though, being a polite, worldly player from overseas who will bond with Gregg Popovich over the finer things in life, and he can pursue another avenue if it doesn't work out in 2017. Gasol's addition will make the choice of whether to retain Boban Marjanovic in restricted free agency an interesting one.
With Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs will feature a remarkably talented, efficient, and slow frontcourt next season as they seek to challenge the Warriors with Kevin Durant.